Prince Andrew must ‘stop making excuses’ and tell the FBI everything he knows about his friend Ghislaine Maxwell following her arrest, top US lawyer Gloria Allred said today.
Allred, who represents 16 accusers of pedophile Jeffrey Epstein, said the Queen’s 60-year-old son must ‘contact the FBI immediately’
Announcing the arest of Ghislaine during a New York press conference, official investigators said they would ‘welcome Prince Andrew coming in to talk with us to have the benefit of his statement’.
An indictment claims that Maxwell ‘assisted, facilitated and contributed to Jeffrey Epstein’s abuse by, among other things, helping him to recruit, groom, and ultimately sexually abuse’ underage girls.
The Sun reports: The prince has faced backlash over his friendship with the disgraced financier after Epstein victim Virginia Roberts claimed that she had sex with the royal on several occasions.
Prince Andrew has strongly denied the allegations and took part in a car crash TV interview where he claimed he had been at a Pizza Express restaurant on the night Roberts claims they met in a London nightclub.
US prosecutors have now encouraged Andrew to talk to them after Epstein’s alleged pimp Maxwell was arrested this morning.
During today’s extraordinary press conference, acting Manhattan US Attorney Audrey Strauss: “We would welcome Prince Andrew coming in to talk to us, we would like to have the benefit of his statement.
“Our doors remain open and we would like to hear from him and have the benefit of his statement.”
But added that they would not comment further on the Duke of York in relation to the investigation.
Andrew was believed to be at home at Royal Lodge, in Windsor, when he heard Maxwell had been caught but a spokesman for the royal issued a firm “no comment”.
Andrew’s six-month standoff with the FBI deepened after Maxwell was detained for allegedly helping to lure underage girls who were then sexually abused by Epstein.
Maxwell’s arrest will now intensify calls for Andrew to come forward and speak about any involvement he may have had, despite him denying wrongdoing.
The FBI had previously claimed that the royal had failed to respond to them regarding Epstein but the Duke claimed that he had made several attempts to help with the sex trafficking investigation.
By Niamh Harris